Xilinx Alveo

In the fall of 2018 Xilinx made an interesting shift from being exclusively a “chip supplier”, specifically FPGAs, to a system level supplier. By system I mean a network interface card that could directly be used in a server. Until that time, Xilinx had relied on its end-customers or third parties to build “boards” using Xilinx FPGAs. For example, Cisco would design a hardware board around a Xilinx FPGA and then ship to its end customers. There were also companies who specialized in just taking Xilinx FPGAs, putting them on a generic board and shipping them out as “raw” cards. The term raw is used here to mean there was no pre-loaded FPGA code or intellectual property on the board. The idea is that other companies would take the raw cards, load their FPGA code on it and ship to their end customers.

With the announcement of the Alveo line of “adaptable accelerator cards”, Xilinx became not only an FPGA supplier, but also a system level supplier. This has some advantages and disadvantages. The obvious advantage is that end customers can now get both FPGAs and cards directly from one source. The disadvantage is that Xilinx runs the risk of entering some of its customers markets, most significantly the suppliers of raw boards, and in turn alienates them.  The reality however is that since there are only two viable FPGA vendors in the world (Intel with its Altera acquisition being the other), there is very little risk of end-customers revolting and moving away from Xilinx.

Host CPU Offload Product Features Summary

wdt_ID Speed 1G 10G 10G 10G 10G/40G 10G/40G 100G 100G 100G
1 Model 4Ku 20ku 40ku 40kq 80ku ATLAS-1100 Service Node ANIC-200KFlex ANIC-100Kq ANIC-200Kq
2 Port/Type 4X1G SFP 2X10G SFP+ 4X10G SFP+ 1X40G QSFP+ 4X10G SFP+ 2X40G QSFP+ 8X10G SFP+ 4x10G SFP+ 1x40G QSFP+ 2x100G QSFP28 2x40G QSFP28 1X100G QSFP28 2X100G QSFP28
3 PCIe Interface Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16
4 Dimensions(H x L inches) 4.25 x 6.5   4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 1.75 x12.28x14 4.25 x 6.5 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 10.5
5 Memory 32MB 4G 4G 4G 4G 16/32G 8G 12G 12G
6 Timestamp 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS
7 100% Packet
8 Gigamon, AristaTimestamp
9 Packet Merging
10 Packet Parsing

About Accolade

Accolade is the technology leader in FPGA-based Host CPU Offload and 100% Packet Capture PCIe NIC’s and Scalable 1U Platforms. Accolade’s line of 1-100GE products enable 100% packet capture, flow classification, flow shunting, deduplication, packet filtering and more. Our customers are global leaders in network monitoring & cybersecurity applications as well as in the network test and measurement, telecom and video stream monitoring markets.

FPGA Acceleration Features

100% Packet Capture | Flow Classification | Flow Shunting | Precise Time Stamping | Packet Merging | Packet Slicing | Packet Parsing | Packet Filtering | Deduplication | Host Packet Buffer | Packet Steering | Direct Memory Access (DMA) | Statistics (RMON1)

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